NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effect of Tuition Reimbursement on Turnover: A Case Study Analysis

Colleen N. Flaherty

NBER Working Paper No. 12975
Issued in March 2007
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS

Tuition reimbursement programs provide financial assistance for direct costs of education and are a type of general skills training program commonly offered by employers in the United States. Standard human capital theory argues that investment in firm-specific skills reduces turnover, while investment in general skills training could result in increased turnover. However, firms cite increased retention as a motivation for offering tuition reimbursement programs. This rationale for offering these programs challenges the predictions of the standard human capital model. This paper tests empirically whether participation in tuition reimbursement programs increases employee retention using data from a non-profit institution. To document the prevalence of tuition reimbursement programs, the case study analysis is supplemented with findings from the Survey of Employer-Provided Training, 1995 (SEPT95). This paper finds that participation in tuition reimbursement programs reduces employee turnover.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12975

Published: The Effect of Tuition Reimbursement on Turnover: A Case Study Analysis, Colleen Flaherty Manchester. in The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, Bender, Lane, Shaw, Andersson, and von Wachter. 2008

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